123 FIVE The welfare state debate 10 October 1950 Dear Taoiseach The Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland at their meeting on October 10th had under consideration the proposals for a Mother and Child health service and other kindred medical services. They recognise that these proposals are motivated by a sincere desire to improve public health, but they feel bound by their office to consider whether the proposals are in accordance with Catholic moral teaching. In their opinion the powers taken by the State in the proposed Mother and Child Health Service are
Created during and after the Second World War, the British Welfare State seemed to promise welfare for all, but, in its original form, excluded millions of disabled people. This book examines attempts in the subsequent three decades to reverse this exclusion. It is the first to contextualise disability historically in the welfare state and under each government of the period. It looks at how disability policy and perceptions were slow to change as a welfare issue, which is very timely in today’s climate of austerity. It also provides the first major analysis of the Disablement Income Group, one of the most powerful pressure groups in the period and the 1972 Thalidomide campaign and its effect on the Heath government. Given the recent emergence of the history of disability in Britain as a major area of research, the book will be ideal for academics, students and activists seeking a better understanding of the topic.
13 ONE Why the welfare state matters The concept of a welfare state has strong normative connotations. It is conceptually associated with a commitment to both democracy and social justice. Democracy – which encompasses human rights, citizen’s voice and participatory decision-making power, freedom of information, and many other factors – is a prerequisite to striving for and genuinely accepting social justice. It is also necessary to create the societal and political coalitions necessary to achieve at least acceptable levels of social justice, and at the
1 ONE introduction: modernising the welfare state Martin Powell ‘A new dawn has broken. Isn’t it wonderful?... We have been elected as New Labour and we will govern as New Labour.’ (Tony Blair, election night, 2 May 1997) introduction This is the third book in what I am terming my ‘New Labour trilogy’. The first book, New Labour, new welfare state (Powell, 1999), was one of the first books to examine the social policy of New Labour’s ‘Third Way’. The second book, Evaluating New Labour’s welfare reforms (Powell, 2002), focused on manifesto promises and
99 SIX The welfare state: whose consensus? No-one can seriously deny that, whatever else Thatcherism represents, it embodies a genuine ideological break with the social democratic post-war consensus (Phil Lee, Marxism Today, May 1983) The Conservative Policy is simply more (or rather less) of the same. (Ian Gough, Marxism Today, July 1980) (The above two quotes originally juxtaposed by Taylor- Gooby, 1985, 71) How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power? Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the
COVID-19 has transformed the British welfare state. The government has created millions of new beneficiaries, spent tens of billions of pounds it doesn’t have and created a mountain of public debt. And yet, when the crisis has passed, we will be left with all the old problems of welfare and well-being which we have systematically failed to address over the past 50 years.
In this book, Christopher Pierson argues that we need to think quite differently about how we can ensure our collective well-being in the future. To do this, he looks backwards to the welfare state’s origins and development as well as forwards, unearthing some surprising solutions in unexpected places.
Tony Blair was the longest serving Labour Prime Minister in British history. This book, the third in a trilogy of books on New Labour edited by Martin Powell, analyses the legacy of his government for social policy, focusing on the extent to which it has changed the UK welfare state. Drawing on both conceptual and empirical evidence, the book offers forward-looking speculation on emerging and future welfare issues.
The book’s high-profile contributors examine the content and extent of change. They explore which of the elements of modernisation matter for their area. Which sectors saw the greatest degree of change? Do terms such as ‘modern welfare state’ or ‘social investment state’ have any resonance? They also examine change over time with reference to the terms of the government. Was reform a fairly continuous event, or was it concentrated in certain periods? Finally, the contributors give an assessment of likely policy direction under a future Labour or Conservative government.
Previous books in the trilogy are “New Labour, new welfare state?" (1999) and “Evaluating New Labour’s welfare reforms" (2002) (see below). The works should be read by academics, undergraduates and post-graduates on courses in social policy, public policy and political science.
There is a need to understand the Italian welfare state, but as yet it has received little academic research attention. The Italian Welfare State in a European Perspective is the first book to explore the evolution of Italy’s welfare state in the decades since the ‘Trente Glorieuses’ (1945–75).
It offers a rare overview and analysis of the Italian situation based on an in-depth study of the main social policy fields (including education, higher education and taxation policies), a detailed analysis of the connection between policies and their outputs/outcomes and a comparative perspective framing the Italian case within the European context.
This is the first English-language book to take a comparative look at the Italian welfare state as a whole since the 2008 economic crisis, It will be a valuable resource for academics and researchers, as well as students.
The political economy of the Irish welfare state provides a fascinating interpretation of the evolution of social policy in modern Ireland, as the product of a triangulated relationship between church, state and capital.
Using official estimates, Professor Powell demonstrates that the welfare state is vital for the cohesion of Irish society with half the population at risk of poverty without it. However, the reality is of a residual welfare system dominated by means tests, with a two-tier health service, a dysfunctional housing system driven by an acquisitive dynamic of home-ownership at the expense of social housing, and an education system that is socially and religiously segregated.
Using the evolution of the Irish welfare state as a narrative example of the incompatibility of political conservatism, free market capitalism and social justice, the book offers a new and challenging view on the interface between structure and agency in the formation and democratic purpose of welfare states, as they increasingly come under critical review and restructuring by elites.
This comprehensive study provides a thorough account of important policy developments in the Netherlands that are significant beyond the borders of the Dutch welfare state. It demonstrates the dramatic changes that have taken place in the protection of old and new social risks, exploring the mechanisms behind these changes in the context of corporatist welfare state institutions. This book is essential for welfare state scholars, graduate students and policy makers.